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The Food Waste Problem – Week 8

Monday, June 17th, 2013

I was shopping this weekend and saw the Watermelon cribs FULL of BIG, juicy melons. Instead of triggering a rational thought of…that looks good,  the first thought that came to mind was, That would make a great blog post this week………

Turns out the Melon was very good too….  LOL.

Lots of produce scraps for The Worm Inn this week…..

Here is the skin of that entire Watermelon…..

Total waste to be added to The Worm Inn this week…12.49 pounds…..WOW!

Here is what it looked like when I just dumped everything in (Before covering up the scraps).

Because the worms had broken down much of the existing bedding, I added some fresh newspaper shreds this week.  Notice, I chose to add my shreds totally dry.  This was done on purpose….My Inn had plenty of moisture in it from last week, and I know 12+ pounds of scraps would release a lot of water.  The addition of the dry shreds will help suck up the excess moisture in the Inn this week.   After adding the shreds, you would never know I just plopped in an entire watermelon (And more), this week.

Previous total amount of waste diverted from the landfill – 20.87 pounds

New total after this week…..33.36 pounds of food waste diverted from the landfill!!!

The Food Waste Problem – Week 7

Monday, June 10th, 2013

This week was more representative of a “Normal” week for us.   We dehydrated some Mango, so we had quite a few skins in our waste, in addition to the normal, “Stuff”.

…and the scale says…a whopping 4.49 pounds of waste.

As usual, the bedding level had dropped some.  Worms are waiting to be fed…..

Temps this week were unusually high…..and unusually low.  Anyway, last weeks scraps rotted pretty quickly.  No bad smells though…that’s aerobic decomposition, the product of a breathable system.  Waste is broken down, but not soupy…just damp.

Now you’re probably thinking, Why is he throwing out perfectly good lettuce?  Well, once again temps going from 60 degrees to 95 degrees in a week have freaked out the fresh lettuce….making it bolt (Turn to seed), and extremely bitter.  The lettuce below “Looks” good, but is waaayyy bitter.  Haven’t heard the worms complaining about it though.

Another pic of the “Stuff” before covering it back up.

And the final pic with everything covered up.  It takes 10x as long to document the waste as it does to deal with it.

Previous total – 16.38 pounds

This week – 4.49 pounds

New Total – 20.87 pounds of food waste being turned into valuable vermicompost.

Time spent actually processing the waste this week…..approximately 30 seconds.

What’s YOUR excuse for not doing this?

The Food Waste Problem – Week 6

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

So…first things first…I had added bedding a few days ago and just got around to wetting the new stuff this afternoon.

We had a little more food waste this week than normal, so I put it in a medium garbage bag in order to weigh it all at once.  Included in this weeks food waste was some romaine lettuce growing out back that started turning to seed.  For those of you that have never grown lettuce….

1.  You don’t know what you are missing.  Fresh lettuce is fantastic.

2.  Unfortunately, lettuce turns to seed quickly when the weather gets too warm, or the plant gets stressed.  As it begins to turn to seed the lettuce gets very bitter.  The worms still love it though!

90 degree weather a few days after cool, rainy weather makes it really stressful on plants like lettuce.

Before I put in the food, I wanted to check out what remained of the prior food waste….

Basically nothing left!  Just damp paper with a few small chunks of who knows what…..worms are gonna be hungry.

Everyone in the pool!  Chow time.

…And all waste covered up and ready to be devoured by the worms.  Easy as can be.

Previous total – 13.04 pounds

This week – 3.34 pounds

New total  16.38 pounds of food waste being turned into valuable vermicompost.

It’s done when I am sleeping.

It’s done when I am awake.

It’s done when I’m taking a shower.

It’s done when I’m driving to work.

It’s done when I’m at lunch.

It’s done when I’m driving back home.

It’s done even when I’m preparing dinner, and creating more food waste.

Worms are amazing creatures.

The Food Waste Problem – Week 5

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

This week is going to be short and sweet.  We were out of town enjoying the holiday for most of the week, and then today, I caught a bad cold.   Summer colds suck.

Bedding level has dropped significantly.

Only 1.07 pounds of waste this week.  That’s the least in awhile.

Always like to see what the little guys are doing.

…and now, the bedding level is high again.  Next week, will probably be down like it was this week.  Amazing.

Through week 4…waste averted…13.04 pounds.

Total week 5 – 1.07 pounds of waste.

Total waste averted from landfill = 14.11 pounds and counting.

So, The Wife Asks You To Bring In Some Green Onions For A Salad…

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

…and you return with THIS!

Here is a better perspective… 30+ inches of oniony goodness.

Biochar baby!

The Food Waste Problem – Week 4

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I got a late start on the blog today as I’ve been working in the backyard all weekend.  Spent the early evening picking giant veggies (I’ll write about them shortly).  Anyway, the lighting in my garage was horrible (See below).

Sorry about that reflection.  The weight was 3.75 pounds (The bowl weighs .73), so let’s call it 3 pounds (Net) of scraps for today.

As usual, I took a pic at how far down The Worm Inn is this week.  Check this out.

…and another thing I like to do is check and see how broken down stuff is in The Inn.  This is definitely optional.

Everything looks good, so I’ll dump in my new mess of scraps.

And cover everything up with toilet paper tubes and more shredded newspaper.

Yep.  It’s that EASY.

Previous Total – 10.04 pounds

Todays – 3 pounds

Total waste diverted from landfill after four weeks…13.04 Pounds.

Why I Recommend Not Buying a Plastic Bin For Worm Composting!

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Here is a typical email and pic from a couple that just bought their first worms…..

We had trouble with keeping the worms inside the Worm Fxxxxx, and keeping vinegar flies outside, so yesterday we tried to put some more dry newspaper on top but the worms have started to escape on a large scale since this morning…
We don’t know what to do…!!

Thanks if you can help!

This is a common problem with plastic bins, and quite frankly, why I do not and have not sold plastic bins in years.

1.  Plastic is non porous and does not breathe, even if you drill holes in it.

2.  Think of a plastic bin as a bucket.  Have you ever kept food scraps in a bucket underneath your kitchen sink?  When you opened the bucket, what did it look and smell like?

3.  When dealing with plastic bins, you can easily create anaerobic situations (Stink due to lack of oxygen).  This can kill worms quickly.

4.  Plastic bins hold water so well, you’re usually dealing with MUD, when you want are nice, light castings (Think damp coffee grounds).  Additionally, mud and pressure (From stacking trays. is the recipe for making adobe bricks!)

5.  Worms LOVE to crawl around the side walls of plastic bins, and often times they want to crawl out.

All of these problems go away when you use The Worm Inn.  Properly filled with LOTS of bedding material, you can fill it with a LOT of scraps without issue.  The sides of The Worm Inn do not stay wet, so worms NEVER crawl up the sides.  Because THE WORM INN has so much breathability, it does not stink even when loaded up.  The reality is, when fruit and veggies break down, they should smell a little sweet (except for broccoli and brussel sprouts…lol).

We ship worms in breathable bags, not plastic containers.  Why do you think we do that?

Buy a better worm composting system and enjoy the experience.  Buy THE WORM INN.

The Food Waste Problem – Week 3

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Now we’re starting to pick up steam.  Had a big Mother’s Day brunch that ended up with Fresh Grilled Pineapple, Brown Sugar, and French Vanilla Ice Cream (You can thank me later for this one…it’s the bomb!).  Anyway, had a bunch of skin from today’s Pineapples, and some of the usual waste.

Quite a bit…today’s waste weighed in at almost 4 pounds.

Here’s how my Worm Inn looked before I did anything today…..

Worms are happy as can be….doing their thing….

Everyone in the pool!!!

Here’s a twist.  I had a customer come by to pick up a Worm Inn and some worms.  He needed newspaper more than I did, so I gave him what I had on hand.  No worries….I like newspaper as a base because it holds water really, really well.  But, once I’ve got that base, I can add other stuff in lieu of newspaper…..Like this!

I could have run the tubes through my paper shredder (I have a really high end shredder), but, no need.  Over time, the worms will break down these toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, and egg crate just fine.

I then zipped up the bag and because I had a bunch of other things to do, I didn’t even water the TP tubes in.  No big deal…the underlying paper was plenty damp.  I’ll water the system either tomorrow or the next day.

See how easy The Worm Inn makes worm composting!

Week 3:  May 12, 2013 – 3.91 Pounds

YTD (3 Weeks) 10.04 pounds of waste that will never hit the landfill.

How much food waste did you send to the landfill over the past 3 weeks?

The Food Waste Problem – Week 2.5

Friday, May 10th, 2013

I’ve received lots of emails about the current blog thread.  In fact, more emails than any other topic I’ve written about.  People are fascinated about reading the weekly posts showing just how much the worms process…..and you ain’t seen nothin yet!

The first thing I wanted to share is just how fast the level of bedding has dropped.  Amazing, isn’t it?

The next thing I usually do is just take a quick peek at the worms, and see how they are eating away.  Even though I’ve vermicomposted for years, believe it or not, worms still fascinate me.

Time to weigh todays scraps…..3.38 pounds…that’s more like it.

I simply dump in the scraps and holler for the worms that dinner is ready.  Compare trying to do this with a stackable plastic bin with 3 inch deep trays…..

Then, I just cover up the scraps thoroughly.  I had some additional newspaper, so I added it.

Then I simply zipped up the top.  What could be easier?

This entire process literally took a minute.  I don’t know anyone that “Literally” does not have a minute to spare.  At this point I could water the system (I just mist right through the mesh top)…..or not.  The area where the worms are is damp, so the new paper on top doesn’t need to be watered down until I get around to it.

Week 2.5 – May 9, 2013 – 3.38 pounds

YTD (Actually only 2.5 weeks) – 6.13 pounds of waste that will never hit the landfill.

Worm Inn Customer Testimonial

Thursday, May 9th, 2013
I’m writing in regards to one of your recent blog post about how much and how fast the Worm Inn processes material.  I just wanted to chime in because I partially harvested both my Worm Inns this weekend and took a couple pictures.  I had last harvested them sometime during late Fall.  That particular harvest resulted in enough castings for me to brew five gallons of worm tea just about every weekend since the fall, and provided enough castings for me to plant my veggie garden this Spring.
I attached pictures of material fresh from one of my Worm Inns and a couple pictures of the castings after being put through 1/8″ screen.  The last picture shows the total castings from both of my Inns.  My Inns contain a mix of Euros and Reds.  Anyway, as a fan and supporter of the Worm Inn I just wanted to share some pics that might help you with future questions since you help so many on the blog and in the forum.  Feel free to share them if it helps you out at all.
Raw Castings

Screened Castings

Pretty Huh!

Tea anyone?